[Publisher:] Institut für Weltwirtschaft (IfW) [Place:] Kiel [Year:] 1989
Kiel Working Paper 370
The winds of change are blowing through Europe. In the western half of the divided continent the European Community (EC) is setting about to complete its Internal Market by the end of 1992, in the East various members of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) are striving for a thorough reform of their derelict command economies. Both projects are part and parcel of a worldwide trend towards freer markets, both are quite sensible in their own right. Unfortunately, they are incompatible in at least one aspect that is crucial for the economic future of Europe as a whole: while many Comecon countries seek closer links with Western Europe under the heading of perestroika, a misconceived Internal Market 1992 threatens to deepen the economic division of the old continent. The purpose of .this paper is to sketch the major causes for concern and to elaborate a concept on how instead a properly designed 1992 could contribute to a pan-European economic integration. The core of the proposal is (i) to give the emerging Internal Market a clear liberal imprint, (ii) to extend the nondiscriminatory treatment to the European Free Trade Assocation (EFTA), and (iii) to offer EFTA membership to all those East European countries whose economic reforms have progressed sufficiently far.